With a second lockdown looming and panic-buying starting up again, shoppers are complaining that, while they need online grocery delivery, most supermarket’s offering is inefficient.
A study by Ubamarket, a pioneering app in retail technology, has found that 38% of UK consmers have used online shopping more since lockdown, but have found it inefficient due to insufficient delivery slots and replacement items.
And with 50% of shoppers saying that being able to do a weekly shop at their local supermarket is vital to combating isolation in lockdown and 43% of them – more than 20 million people – wanting their shopping experience moving forward to require as little human interaction as possible, this is bad news for retailers and shoppers.
This result is also likely to cause an increase in consumer footfall among the UK’s supermarkets and shops, as well as fluctuations in consumer behaviour, as they are influenced by the shoppers around them.
Following rising concerns surrounding a second wave of COVID-19 and the Prime Minister’s recent announcement calling for Britons to return to work from home if they are able, supermarkets have allegedly seen surges of panic buying across the country. This has caused a jump in demand for delivery slots, with many supermarkets being unable to cater to this.
Lading supermarkets have launched initiatives such as a “Food Box” plan to provide people with enough food to feed their families for five days, in which the customer will not have to wait for an available delivery slot.
While many retailers have reassured the public that they are well prepared for the second lockdown, some have already reinstated rationing on certain goods. Fluctuating demand - in particular for online deliveries – remains a logistical problem that supermarkets are struggling to cater to.
"It is encouraging to see that Britain’s retailers and grocers are committed to reassuring customers and ensuring that they are able to provide essential goods without disruption,” comments Will Broome, CEO of Ubamarket. “However, the concerns around stockpiling are not to be taken lightly, and it is important that the public continue to shop in a considerable manner.”
Broome adds: “Our research clearly shows how integral the supermarket is to British consumers, and the different ways they want to purchase their goods following Covid. The implementation of retail technology is one way that Britain’s retailers could safeguard themselves against this fluctuating demand and irregular consumer behaviour. With this, supermarkets and stores can access far more in-depth and accurate consumer data, helping them to assess their behaviour, manage stock more efficiently and effectively, whilst being able to effectively communicate directly to the consumer base.”